Wednesday, March 28, 2012

Queen K Tri Club 10k Training Run

View from the aid station
Last Sunday was a rare day off of running for both Jason and I.  But instead of sleeping in, we were up on Alii Drive providing an aid station for the Queen K Tri Club's 10K Training Run.  The run started out at Old Airport, running down to Kuakini, to Alii Drive, past Casa D'Emdeko and back.  Our aid station was positioned right at Honl's, so they could hit it twice on the run. Thanks to Dave Pratt for also helping out at this one.

Although we weren't running, we were excited to see many of our friends out taking advantage of this free race on a beautiful Sunday morning.  Results from the race are available here. Here are a few photos we were able to take:


Debbie and her husband

Steady stream of runners

Thomas Vonach and Matt Fesel

Chitwin SanTun and Shirley Pratt
Up this weekend is Lavaman Waikoloa.  We'll see everyone out there - good luck to all the participants!

Friday, March 23, 2012

Hilo Marathon Weekend 2012

Race director Wayne "Big Dog" Joseph and wife Randee (Photo by Marie Kuramoto)
After a week spent recovering from the Hapalua and packing up the store for the Big Island International Health and Fitness Expo, we headed out early on Friday evening for Hilo.  Jason drove the rented cargo van with the merchandise and I took the little car over. We arrived just in time to check in at the Hilo Hawaiian and head down to the Carbo-Load Dinner.  The Carbo-Load Dinner is always a great event - good food, a chance to catch up with friends from the Hilo side of the island, great entertainment and fantastic door prizes.  This year was no exception.

 A group of young hula dancers from a halau in Hilo performed several beautiful numbers.

(Photo by Marie Kuramoto)
And Marie Kuramoto (aka the "Queen") managed to get on stage and perform as well.

(Photo by Marie Kuramoto)
Marie, DJ Blinn, David Hammes, and Cowman are the remaining four participants to have run every single Big Island International Marathon and all completed the race again this year.  Here's a photo of Jason and I with three of the four:
David, DJ, Marie, Jason and Melissa (Photo by Marie Kuramoto)
The prizes were also great - Jason won a BJ Penn shirt and I took home a lovely orchid!

After the Carbo-Load dinner, it was off to relax and get to bed in preparation for the big day the next day.  No, not the race, the Health and Fitness Expo!  In a lot of ways, this is even tougher than running the race.  We unloaded the van and started setting up before the crush of people flooded in.  They opened the expo doors at noon and we were steadily busy for the next two hours! Special thanks to Ali Steiner and John Ferdico who made the trip over to Hilo for the 5k and also provided invaluable help at the expo.  (No pictures of the expo, since we were too busy!)

After the crazy first two hours, things slowed down to a manageable pace for the rest of the afternoon.  But it was still a long afternoon spent on our feet.  We closed down the booth at 6 p.m. and then headed to Cafe Pesto for another carbo-load dinner before the run. 

An early night led to another early morning as we headed out to Pepeekeo for the start of the race at 6:00 a.m.  Both Jason and I were doing the half this year (the first time for Jason since he usually runs the full).  However, we were both a little worn out after doing the Hapalua the week before and the expo on Saturday.  But this race is beautiful and one of my favorites on the island (or anywhere), so we wouldn't have missed it.

Cowman made it to the race and got a photo with the four remaining original runners:

(Photo by Choy Bacor)

Cowman and Steve Pavao (Photo by Choy Bacor)
Then it was time for the race start:

(Photo by Choy Bacor)
(Photo by Choy Bacor)
This race always starts in the dark, but in some years you can watch the sun rise over the ocean.  Not this year, though, as the skies remained cloudy and rain was a factor pretty much the entire race.  Of course that made for some pretty scenery and loud, rushing water.  Here are some of the views you see during the race (and some pretty good looking runners, too!)

Rick and Lee Otani (Photo by Choy Bacor)
Happy Runners (Photo by Choy Bacor)
Keith Marrack (Photo by Choy Bacor)
Jason had a good race and ending up winning the half marathon in 1:18:33 (about the same as his time last weekend).  Second and third places went to UH-Hilo runners Zach Johnson (1:27:01) and Justin Pang (1:28:31).
In the ladies' half marathon, Amy Masuyama won with a time of 1:42:31, Nikka Takane was second in 1:43:06, and Mandy Lemes was third in 1:44:36.  I finished in sixth place for the women, first in my age group with a time of 1:47:10 (or about 30 seconds slower than last weekend). 
Full results from the half marathon are available here.  We attended the half marathon awards and got some pictures of our age group winning friends:
Marissa Bryant-Manago
Keith Marrack and Danny Becker

Andrew Langtry and Rob Van Geen

Steve Pavao
When we were heading back to the dry van, we saw DJ Blinn sprinting to the finish line after completing the full marathon.

Marie with her grandkids after the race. (Photo by Marie Kuramoto)
Unfortunately we didn't stick around for much of the rest of the marathon finishers or the marathon awards, since the weather was so rotten.  Congratulations to all of the marathon finishers, though!  Curtis Huffman won the race in 2:39:31, and Mai Fujisawa was the winning female with a time of 3:07:25.  Full results from the marathon are available here

And we missed all of the 5k, too, but results for the 5k are here.  Ian Smith won the race, while pushing a double jogging stroller in the rain! Kelsy Rushing finished in second place and was the first female. 

As you can tell from the photos, the weather was far from ideal for the race, with lots of rain coming down.  We were so impressed with the volunteers who stuck it out all day long, getting soaked and still doing it with a smile.  Mahalo volunteers! 

A huge mahalo also goes out to Wayne Joseph and his wife Randee for putting on another fantastic Big Island International Marathon, even while coping with some personal health struggles. Throughout the weekend, I never saw either of them without a huge smile on their faces. Thank you both for all you do for the race and the athletic community!

Wednesday, March 21, 2012

The Chase

It's been a busy couple of weeks here in Hawaii. Two weekends ago, Jason and I headed to Oahu to participate in the first ever Hapalua.  The Hapalua is a half marathon in Waikiki organized by the same people who organize the Honolulu Marathon.  Back in December, I won free entry into this race (and the Honolulu Marathon) by guessing the winning men's time within 3 seconds.  So of course, I had to go run it!

Jason was lucky (and talented) enough to be invited to participate in a special part of the race - The Chase.  The premise behind the Chase was that 12 local men and 12 local women would race current Honolulu Marathon champion Nicholas Chelimo and former Honolulu Marathon champ Jimmy Muindi to the finish line.  Since those two athletes are world-class marathoners, they had to make things interesting by providing head starts to the men's and women's fields.

Men's Start of the Chase
The women received an 18 minute head start on the Kenyans and the men received a 9 minute head start. The first person to cross the finish line (man, woman, Kenyan, local) would win the race and $5,000.  The first ten people to cross the finish line would receive part of an $11,000 purse. Local Big Island runners Bree Wee, Rani Tanimoto and Ali Herd (who attends college in Oahu) were part of the women's field for the Chase and Jason was part of the men's field.

Conditions that day were rough to say the least.  I thought the wind at the Honolulu Marathon was bad, but it was nothing compared to this race.  It felt like we were always running straight into a 30 mph wind! At least the rain cleared up before the race, although that did leave it a little humid there.   The race started at the Duke Kahanamoku Statute in Waikiki, headed out towards Ala Moana, towards Chinatown, then back past Ala Moana to Kapiolani Park and up the back side of Diamond Head before finishing in Kapiolani Park.  The Diamond Head hill was a killer, which was not helped by the gusty wind coming straight at us. 

Jason in the Chase
At the end of the day, though, the Chase turned out to be a great event.  Oahu runner Thomas Puzey passed all the women and finished in first place with his time of 1:10:24 (or 1:01:24 adjusted time).  Another Oahu runner Dany Malley came in second in 1:10:38 (1:01:38 adjusted).  Bree Wee represented the Big Island well and finished first for the ladies in third place with a 1:21:05 (1:03:05) and didn't get passed by any Kenyans!   Chelimo finished in 8th place with a time of 1:05:05 and Muindi finished in 9th with a time of 1:05:18. 

Rani Tanimoto was the 4th woman finisher and won her age group with a time of 1:26:35.  Jason finished 15th in the Chase with a time of 1:18:38, good for third place in his age group.  Another Big Island runner Sal Salmi placed second in his age group with a time of 1:21:05.
Sal Salmi
Big Island winners!
Those speedy runners had to wait around a while until I finished the race. 

Jason and Rani post-race.
The race didn't go exactly as I was hoping it to, but I'm ok with the outcome.  I finished in 1:46:42. That is slightly faster than I was on pace to run, though.  I was really struggling with about 2 miles to go. At that point, DJ Blinn pulled up alongside me.  I wasn't that surprised to see him, since that's about where he usually passes me before the finish.  But this time, I decided to stay with him.  I picked it up and ran with him for about a mile before pulling away and finishing a couple of seconds ahead of him.  Huge thanks to him for getting me back that extra minute!

Almost finished!
This race was really well organized for a first year race.  The aid stations were well stocked, although a little spaced out in a couple of areas.   But the post-race refreshments were great.  Like the Honolulu Marathon, they had malasadas at the finish. But this time they also had Shave Ice! I think Shave Ice is now the perfect post-race food. 
On our way to the Shave Ice!
Special thanks to Penn Henderson (who took all of the pictures in this post) and Sal's wife Maureen for being super supporters that day! Congratulations to all of the other Big Island participants, too!

After the race there wasn't much rest for us as last weekend was the Big Island International Marathon and Expo in Hilo.  Since we set up at the expo, there was a lot of work to be done last week.  So I'm catching up now and will hopefully have a post up about that race soon.

Thursday, March 8, 2012

Zoomin Zak Plunge & Plod Biathlon

Things have been so busy lately that I haven't been really timely in getting blog posts up.  Which makes me forget a lot of what I was going to say about the day - so I apologize both for the tardiness and potential boringness!
Super Volunteer Doug Henbest
Last Sunday, there was a great turnout at Peaman's Zoomin' Zak Plunge and Plod Biathlon. This race was a 1/2 mile swim and a 3.9 mile run, along with the usual peawee courses.  Jason was feeling a little bit under the weather, so he wasn't there to take pictures this week.  But luckily Lexi DeCarli filled in and I think she got some of my favorite shots ever.  Thank you, Lexi!

The swim was relatively calm, but still cold. And it was definitely clear. I saw a couple of huge schools of fish out there, but no sharks or dolphins thankfully.  Lately I've been able to work in a couple more ocean swims per week, so I was hoping that would pay off in the race.  And I don't know if it was that or the major draft I caught off of Kevin Prater (thanks, Kevin - sorry for repeatedly hitting you!), but I had my best swim ever for that distance, finishing in 19:42.  Still quite a bit behind the main pack, but getting better! 

After about a minute and a half transition, I was out on to the run.  The last Peaman event that I participated in back in December was this same distance, so I checked my time beforehand and set two goals - beat that time (51:36) and get under 30:00 for the run.  I was actually feeling really good on Sunday and kept moving up.  All the cheers and encouragement I got along the way definitely helped, too.  When I hit the turnaround, I saw that I was at about 14:30 for my run portion.  At that point, I started thinking that maybe I could make it back under 50:00 minutes total.  So I kept up the pace and crossed the finish line (officially) in 49:59 (my watch said 49:56, but I'll take it either way!) after a 28:44 run.  That's over a minute and a half off of my time from the last race.  Needless to say, I was super excited - and completely exhausted.

After catching my breath, I went back to chat with our photographer Lexi and cheer on the rest of the runners.  Here are some more of the great pics she got:

Lexi's dad, Mike
I love this picture! This is how happy kids should always be at Peaman races!
Dad and son
Peaman himself!
Rose Lorica-Ombac finishing the husband/wife relay.
More pictures from the race are available here.  Results from the race are available here.  In the full distance, Tai Scarbrough finished first in 39:22. Rani Tanimoto was second and first for the ladies with a time of 40:19. Young Chris Prater just keeps moving up in the standings, finishing 3rd overall with a time of 42:45. For the peawees, it was Silas Wiley taking first in 11:24, followed by Karl Nichols in 11:42 and Olivia Nichols in 12:49.

After the race, the perpetual pea was passed along from one member of the newlywed couple of Annamarie and Jeff Dietrichson to the other! Congratulations to them and thanks for helping with the signouts!

Up this weekend is the Run for Hops 5k &10k on Saturday at 7:30 a.m.  We hope to see many of you out there.  Then we head off to Oahu for The Hapalua.  I got free entry into this race by winning that Facebook contest back before the Honolulu Marathon and Jason was one of the 12 local men selected to run in the Chase. For those who haven't heard, 12 local men and 12 local women were chosen to start the race a little earlier (18 minutes for the ladies and 9 minutes for the men).  Their main goal is to be the first person to cross the finish line, ahead of current marathon champion Nicholas Chelimo and former champion Jimmy Muindi, who will be starting with the rest of the race participants.  Out of those 26 people, whoever crosses the finish line first wins $5,000. I really wish I wasn't running the race so I could watch it! It's guaranteed to be exciting.  Good luck to Jason, Bree Wee and Rani Tanimoto who are representing the Big Island in Honolulu!